Puerto Rican governor under fire amid multiple scandals

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:53 AM PT – Monday, July 15 , 2019

Protesters are calling for Puerto Rico’s governor to step down. Thousands of demonstrators marched outside Governor Ricardo Rosselo’s mansion in San Juan on Sunday, where they called for his resignation after leaked chat-logs allegedly showed him and multiple high-ranking members of his cabinet using profane and vulgar insults toward other government officials.

On Saturday, the territory’s chief financial officer and secretary of state both resigned amid the scandal. This all comes less than a week after two former high-ranking Puerto Rican officials were arrested by the FBI for allegedly diverting $15.5 million in federal contracts to politically connected consultants.

Police block protesters from advancing to La Fortaleza governor’s residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Protesters are demanding Gov. Ricardo Rosselló step down for his involvement in a private chat in which he used profanities to describe an ex-New York City councilwoman and a federal control board overseeing the island’s finance. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

The island has long been criticized as corrupt by the Trump administration over its alleged mismanagement of disaster funding following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“You know it’s interesting, Puerto Rico — just so you understand — we gave Puerto Rico $91 billion for the hurricane,” President Trump explained. “That’s the largest amount of money ever given to any state, we’re talking about states and Puerto Rico, little different….so, I think the people of Puerto Rico should really like President Trump.”

In the past week, key allies of Rossello have taken efforts to distance themselves from him due to the slew of scandals surrounding his office. On Sunday for instance, Florida Senator Rick Scott, who was a supporter of Rossello after Hurricane Maria, said the people of Puerto Rico deserve better leadership via Twitter.

Despite the controversy, Rossello has refused to back down. He released a statement on Sunday, vowing to spend the week working on ways to combat corruption in his government. Rossello is expected to run for re-election in 2020., and has not shown any signs of changing those plans.

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